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- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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To get your seafood fix in Santiago, head straight to the Central Market (Mercado Central). Here, you'll find a festive atmosphere and top-grade fish. As you walk past the stalls and stands, you'll come across rarities like giant squid, sea urchin and barnacles, among other unconventional offerings. Venture to the center of the market to indulge in local cuisine — like ceviche and empanadas — as you listen to live music. Even if you're not a fan of seafood, the Central Market is worth a visit: You'll find an eclectic assortment of fruits, vegetables and spices here as well. As you eat your way through the stalls, don't forget to admire the surrounding architecture. Set beneath a wrought-iron ceiling raised in 1872, the market impresses as much with its lively ambiance as its setting.
Though some discerning foodies claim that this market lacks the exuberance of Europe's markets, such as Barcelona's Boqueria, most visitors agree the market is a treat for the senses. "It's fun to peruse the vendors' colorful stalls and watch the fishmongers in action as well as take in the hum of all the diners," exclaimed one TripAdvisor user. The Central Market sits just off of Ismael Vergara in Forest Park, to the east of Santiago's central district. You can reach the market via metro Line 2; the nearest station is Puente Cal y Canto. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, though stalls and restaurants open and close at various times. For further details, check out the market's website.
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